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Home > Craft Topics > Beginners Guide

Starting a Craft Business

All advice is FREE, however, donations towards the upkeep of Walkabout Crafts are much appreciated. Please click below to make a donation.

Here is your chance to start your own craft business and earn some extra money without any hassle!

The only restriction to crafts is your own imagination!

Beginning a craft business is relatively easy to most other business's and what's more you can work the hours to suit; Most Craft workers have full time jobs and fit their craft around their main job.

Anyone can get into crafts! Our youngest member on this site is 14 - our oldest is 94!

Step by step

1. Finding a Craft - The first step is to find a craft. If you already have a craft which you do as a hobby or make things for friends and families then skip this step. 

There are hundreds of different crafts out there, although I would advise to refrain from card making and jewellery as the market is already flooded. For ideas visit our craft introductions page , or visit our Gift Shop for inspiration. 

Ideally find a craft that you genuinely enjoy doing - you may find it hard to sell your crafts if you loathe every minute of producing it! Everyone has an artistic streak - think back to your school days - did you enjoy painting? Or perhaps sculpting? There are also lots of college courses and part time private courses advertised in local newspapers that you could perhaps attend.

Try your hand at several different crafts until you find one that you enjoy. If you enjoy different crafts then even better - there are no rules that say you have to stick to one craft! Over the years I myself have had several different types of crafts for sale, even now that I have an established business, I still try other things.

2. Making your Craft - Now that you have chosen your craft - make it! Make lots and give them to friends and family - get their honest opinion and feedback. If you are making children's clothes or toys then give them to children and let them run about and roll on the ground. If your craft can withstand what it is designed for and more then your one more step forward. 

Free Craft Plans / projects are available at http://www.walkaboutcrafts.com/crafttopics/projects.htm

3. Trading Standards - If you are happy with your craft then now is the time to contact your local 'Trading Standards' via your local council. Do not be daunted by this aspect as they are there to help and advise. You may find that your craft does not need regulated, but there is no harm in finding out. Make an appointment for them to examine your work, in some cases items may need to be sent away for tests or to check if they are flammable, child friendly etc. In most cases you will be given a simple check list to make sure that your items are safe - this mainly applies to items that are for children or electrical etc. 

Trading standards regulations are available on this website

4. Changing your design - When you have the all clear from Trading Standards then skip this step. If you have had to change aspects due to recommendations from the trading standards then go back to step 2 with your altered design.

5. Costing and Pricing - Now that you have your craft, you must now collect all the paperwork with regards to the making / designing of it. Work out how much it costs to produce each item, include time taken to make and any other expenses. 

If you are using paints / varnishes etc then it is advisable to write to the manufacturers and ask them for a detailed list of their product. (This is mainly to help for your insurance and for trading standards if they know that the paints are toxic / flammable etc.). 

Label all your goods with your contact details not just for repeat orders but incase there is a fault or problem. You must also work out how much you are pricing your items.  

Although you have the advantage of not having a shop's overheads you still have fees for craft fairs, advertising etc. Ensure that you take everything into account. 

6. Financial Advice - Once you have all your paperwork in place then it is advised at this point to make an appointment with your bank for advice. It's free and worth taking advantage of - ensure that they realise you are a small part time craft business, banks are business's too so do not let them try to sway you into opening accounts etc that will not benefit you. 

7. Register your business name and Insurance - If you have a business name and are a sole trader then technically you do not need to register it, unless it would ultimately affect you if someone were to use the same name, then there isn't really any point. 

You should however, get insurance, not just for your workshop, home, premises but also for craft fairs (i.e. public liability insurance). If you shop around you will find an insurance company / broker  that will give you a good package not just for your premises and goods but also to cover you if someone should hurt themselves, either at your craft stall or by your product.

8. Contact inland revenue - make an appointment with your local office and they will discuss all your options and help you fill out forms, set up and register everything properly. 

There are also small business centres throughout that can offer free help and advice.

9. Selling your Craft - Now that you have set up you can now start selling! Of course there is this web site where you can advertise and sell your products on Walkabout Crafts,  you can also join craft associations and sell at craft fairs, alternatively, sell direct to shop outlets.

We also have a great page at http://www.walkaboutcrafts.com/crafttopics/promoting.htm with lots of free tips for advertising

Trade fairs are ideal for targeting the larger companies, however this is not recommended until you have established yourself and are able to supply, (i.e. you could get hit with an order of 10,000! Which sounds fantastic, but if it is just you making the craft then obviously you would not be able to supply.) Don't run before you can walk...

10. Enjoy your craft, if you get bored try a different craft. As with most business's you will have quiet times and busy times. This is why most crafters keep their full time job or work another part time job for security. 

You could also set up other craft business's which would bring in profits all year round i.e. garden furniture for summer, knitted jumpers for winter and something mutual for all year round.

If you have any questions or queries then please get in touch and we will be happy to advise.

Good Luck


Business Courses

Worldwide business courses are advertised FREE - however, a link to our site would be appreciated.
 Send us  your details via email including dates, times, address of venue, contact details etc. 
You can also add your course details to our facebook page. Please note that Walkabout Crafts do not take any responsibility for reliability of adverts posted.

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Starting Your Own Business
Brigitte Read is a Marketing Director for a Distance Learning provider based in Scotland - “Starting Your Own Business” It is full accredited and tutor supported course resulting in a level 3 qualification. It would be perfect for the crafter to get to grips with all elements of owning their own small business. 
She has kindly offered all our visitors and members an exclusive 15% discount! Just quote reference 'WAC' when contacting.
Telephone: +44 (0) 141 218 4424, Mobile: +44 (0) 7545 193 578
E-mail: brigitte.read@start-learning.co.uk 
Web site: http://www.start-learning.co.uk/courses/project-management/starting-your-own-business-distance-learning-course/.

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Team Development Course
This practical one-day course is ideal if you are responsible for managing a team of people and you want some practical tips on how to make them more productive, deal effectively with the dynamics of the team, juggle different personalities, control difficult members of staff, manage work-loads, making decisions, solving problems and encourage top performance. 
Cost - If you pay at the time of booking by credit/debit card, you receive our lowest available rate of £99 p.p.
If, however, you wish to be invoiced, whereby you have up to 14 days after the delivery of the training course to make payment, the rate is substantially higher at £129 p.p.
Lunch @ £12.99, Training course materials and website membership @ £6.99, Certificate of completion @ £4.99
Placing a Booking - If you'd like to know more about these, or any of our other training courses, go to .http://www.trainingdevelopment.biz.
Best wishes
Richard Uridge on behalf of Sandy Keating 
Crosshands, Coreley, Shropshire SY8 3AR, T: 01584 890970, F: 01584 890810
richard@trainingdevelopment.biz  

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